Sunday, October 25, 2009

The RAW Collaboration

Newly hung in my living room are the three remaining paintings of the RAW series. I can't believe that I haven't mentioned these before. I think they are easily some of the best work Dave or I have done. The photo to the left being my personal fav, I love Jacques-Yves Cousteau. It is part of a collection in San Diego, as is Audubon.

Anyhow the idea we had was pretty simple, and the inspiration straight forward: Morris Louis exhibit opened at MCASD (Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego) that Dave and I went to Downtown. When you see the stains or stain paintings or whatever in the books they look unimpressive but when you are looking at a painting like that, as big as the whole wall.... well that's is a bit different. Its like being directly in front of a rainbow. Minus the tiny Irish folk. You don't see the muddied or overly simplified color strokes. You see subtle colors blends created by the different washes of watered down acrylic.

Like Louis, we used unprimed canvas that was hand stretched and nailed by either Dave or I. When asked about the process people are generally surprised that Dave doesn't paint the face on and then I make splatters over the top. Instead we make it more of an exercise: keeping in mind who we are painting I mix my color stains and make an abstract painting that can stand on its own, then while that is drying Dave paints into the existing lines I created. He incorporates a lot and lets my painting insinuate the picture at times. For instance much of Darwin's beard was drawn in by my colorwork first, and much of Cousteau's hat and facial highlights. I don't tell Dave which way it goes so he looks at it in different positions for a while before deciding where to paint. I think that is my favorite part, the spontaneity. This had led to one painting that didn't feel right, and we each only get one go at it so we scrapped it.

For now it is all naturalists but we have a larger project in mind. I can't wait!

Top to Bottom: Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Charles Darwin and John James Audubon. I will have to get decent pictures of the other two, Desmond Morris and Jane Goodall.